July 22, 1997

Padang, Sumatra

After spending the night in the Jakarta airport sleeping on a bench, I caught my am flight to Padang Sumatra. It's actually pretty easy to cycle to and from the airport, other than the few strange looks. The jungles of Sumatra were calling my name. The normal route would have been 90kms along the Trans Sumatra highway to Bukittinggi. Me be normal? Please. I had to steer in different route. The additional 40kms of swaying palms and remote rice paddies was added scenery well worth the detour. At nightfall I arrived at the beautiful crater Lake Maninjau.

July 23, 1997

Lake Maninjau/Lubuksikaping

Due to my visa short of time remaining, I unfortunately did not get to spend several days in the Lake Maninjau area. Welcome to the jungle once again! I asked some locals for advice on a back road. Although I was warned not to venture down there, I felt I was up to the challenge. Homer, my trusty steed, had no idea what was in store for him. The scenery was an incredible virgin rainforest jungle. I saw a couple different species of apes. A few different lizards were amazed at Homer visiting the remote parts of the jungle. Road signs are none existent in these parts. Therefore, I had the pleasure of adding an additional 75 kms of mountain terrain on today's cycle. Arrived in Lubusikaping at 9:00 pm had a mandi and feed, then crashed in my dump of a homestay for the night. The ride was intense with some incredible scenary of pristine rainforest.

July 24, 1997

Lubuksikaping/Kota Nopan

Feeling a bit more conservative and tired today. Pedaled 100km to the town of Kota Nopan, population of 500. The route was along the Trans Sumatra highway. I passed several villages and beautiful rainforest scenery, although not as remote as Homer's previous travels.

July 25, 1997


The day Homer got lost in the jungle is taking its toll. Feeling a bit tried,however continued to cycled some 130 kms of hilly terrain to the town of Padangsidempuan. The locals are very friendly to travelers because few actual visit it. The town is developed for these parts with many businesses and a few hotels. Other than spending the night, I see no other sights to explore.

July 26, 1997


Another day of pushing the pedals through the jungles of Sumatra. Finished the day in the town of Tarutung. The religion of the area is mostly Protestant and they are sure to inquire about yours. The locals were very interested in helping other people. I had tear on my bike panniers repaired at the Frans Tailors. The two men running the shop would not take any money for their services. The two of them worked on the bags for over an hour. I came to an agreement to send them both a US dollar in memory which they will hang proudly at the tailor shop.

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